Kwania, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Government has set 27 July as the date for resuming fishing activities on Lake Kyoga and Lake Kwania.
In April 2019, the government suspended fishing following a request by Lake Kyoga Integrated Management Organisation (LAKIMO) following concerns of depletion of fish species due to poor fishing methods.
The suspension which was to last two months was also aimed at enabling fishermen to acquire standard boats and fishing gears.
However, the duration was extended for another three months although up to date, fishing activities have not resumed.
Hellen Adoa Abeku, the Minister of State for Fisheries has said fishermen will be allowed access to the lake in two weeks.
Adoa who was meeting district leaders and members of the fishing community at Abei Landing Site in Chawente Sub-county in Kwania District tasked the fishermen to abide by the set Standard Operational Procedures and embrace the use of the recommended fishing gears when the ban is lifted.
Joyce Ikwaput Nyeko, the commissioner aquaculture management and development project encouraged those at the landing sites to diversify to other alternative sources of livelihoods such as grazing of broilers chickens as a way to combat poverty.
She said the government is planning to construct fish ponds under aquaculture project as an alternative source of livelihood asking people to embrace the project.
Regarding the floods that have continued to ravage Chawente and Kwania sub-counties, Ikwaput said the government has already constituted an Inter-Ministerial committee to come up with flood management plan.
Basil Okello Onac, the Kwania LCV Chairperson, who is a member of Lake Kyoga Integrated Management Organisation (LAKIMO), said they have already started educating the communities about the required SOPs.
According to the Ministry, boat owners must have the recommended 28 sizes of boats and fishing gear, Tax Identification Numbers and National Identity Cards.
A total of 21,764 fishermen were targeted for the registration from the 10,882 landing sites on both Lake Kwania and Kyoga in the Northern and Eastern region.
However, the exact number already registered to start operating is still not known.